From E-ville with love, Stars bounce back with Valentine victory over Huskies

EVANSVILLE – BNL’s Colton Staggs dribbles past Evansville North’s Bryson Chapman. Staggs scored 17 points as the Stars conquered the Huskies 54-40 on Tuesday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – On Valentine’s Day, gotta whole lot of love for the way Bedford North bounced back.

After a streak-busting loss, facing the ultimate in trap-game scenarios, in a dark place, with so many flower-scented, candy-flavored distractions, the Stars delivered a rosy victory. In fact, few teams in program history have enjoyed the road success this team has. So all things considered, there was a whole lot to love about Tuesday’s triumph.

With Noah Godlevske shining a beacon in the shadowy corner, with Colton Staggs holding the flashlight, with Kole Bailey in rescue mode off the bench, BNL rumbled to a 54-40 victory at Evansville North. Godlevske scored 18 points and Staggs totaled 17 as the Stars (14-6) ended their road trips with a remarkable 9-2 record. That’s the best since the 1994-95 squad went 10-0 on its way to a perfect regular season and a run to the semistate final.

Definitely gotta love that.

What BNL coach Jeff Hein liked most was the defense and effort. The Huskies (6-14) couldn’t find many cracks, even with a height advantage across the board. And the biggest play of the night was a steal. With the Stars reeling a little, with a three-point lead that was in danger of being completely erased after a BNL miss early in the fourth quarter, Bailey ripped the ball loose from a rebounder and dashed to a 3-point play. That was a potential six-point swing that propelled the Stars home.

“That was huge,” Hein said. “Kole gave us a great lift off the bench. That’s what he does. He takes that role and runs with it. He made some big plays in the fourth quarter.”

BNL was leaking some fluids at that point. After surging to a 34-23 lead midway through the third quarter, the Stars were silent as North closed the period with eight straight points. When Brayden Huebner powered through the lane for banked basket, when BNL’s Colten Leach missed a out-of-control drive in the paint that North’s Sam McKinney rebounded, the 36-33 difference was in jeopardy.

But as McKinney clutched the ball on the baseline, looking to start the attack to the other end, Bailey darted in from behind and wrestled the ball free, dove into the lane and scored while drawing contact. Next possession, he dropped a 15-footer that started a 14-2 run to a comfortable win.

EVANSVILLE – BNL’s Noah Godlevske launches a 3-pointer from the corner. Godlevske scored 18 points.

“Those little things were winning plays that they made, and we didn’t,” North coach Jason Roach said. “The turnovers (North had 14 total) were really costly, especially in a low-possession game. That’s the story.”

Here’s the rest of the story. While Leach struggled with his shot (missing his last 10), when that might have meant doom, Godlevske was a lighthouse. Evidently the kid can shoot blindfolded. North’s sparkling facility is dimly lit (or the speed of light theory doesn’t apply to those old lights hung from that super-high ceiling), yet the junior splashed six treys.

“Noah can shoot in the dark,” Staggs said. “It was very dark in here. The depth perception was weird.”

Staggs got BNL off to a solid start with 10 first-half points, and he grabbed 7 rebounds. Leach finished with 12 points.

“It’s tough to guard them all,” Roach said. “Every one of them can shoot. A lot of coaches look out there and think they have a size advantage, but you have to chase them off the 3-line.”

EVANSVILLE – BNL’s Colten Leach drives between defenders. Leach totaled 12 points.

Huebner and Bryson Chapman had 11 points each for North.

BNL avoided the trap, now it can shift full focus to Friday night’s huge Hoosier Hills Conference clash with New Albany. The Stars can clinch a share of the league title with a win, now that the final road journey of the regular season has been completed.

“Winning helps, going into a game for the conference title,” Staggs said. “It’s a nice bounce-back, get a win on the road.”

“I don’t think we really lost momentum,” Hein said. “It was good to get a win. Now Friday night is a big one for us.”

EVANSVILLE – BNL’s Trace Rynders eyes the basket while driving through the lane.


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

4 Kaedyn Bennett, f 0-3 0-3 0-0 3 3 0

2 Colten Leach, f 0-0 3-15 6-6 5 3 12

22 Colton Staggs, g 2-2 6-12 3-4 7 3 17

1 Trace Rynders, g 0-1 0-2 0-0 4 1 0

11 Noah Godlevske, g 6-11 6-12 0-0 1 1 18

34 Jett Jones 0-0 1-1 0-0 1 1 2

14 Kole Bailey 0-0 2-2 1-1 0 1 5

5 Houston Corbin 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

10 Patric Matson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

3 Quincy Pickett 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 8-17 18-47 10-11 23 13 54


3s FGs FTs R F Pts

33 Cayden Gehlhausen, f 0-3 2-7 1-2 6 3 5

30 Bryson Chapman, f 1-2 5-7 0-0 5 1 11

34 Kaleb Harris, f 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

10 Brayden Huebner, g 0-2 5-14 1-1 6 5 11

3 Sam McKinney 1-3 1-4 0-1 2 2 3

1 Keamare Barnes 0-1 3-6 0-0 0 0 6

23 Alec Vidoni 0-0 1-1 2-2 1 1 4

31 Josh Neth 0-1 0-1 0-0 5 2 0

Totals 2-12 17-40 4-6 28 14 40

Bedford NL 10 15 9 20 – 54

Evan. North 10 9 12 9 – 40

Turnovers – BNL 5, Evansville North 14

Field goal percentage – BNL 18-47 (.383); Evansville North 17-40 (.425)

Free throw percentage – BNL 10-11 (.909); Evansville North 4-6 (.667)